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The Moment of Conception
by Leah Sellers
2008-08-31 08:58:05
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We will march Our Children off to fight Wars on foreign soil for lofty Ideals of Freedom and Liberty with patriotic zeal, while silently condoning the deadly and destructive bombing of a Pro-Choice Clinic.
We refuse to Bluntly and Compassionately Teach the Ethical/Moral and Individual/Social Responsibilities, Realities, and Life Altering Consequences of premarital sex in American and Global Religious Pulpits - The Houses of God - Everywhere, while balking at sex Education and Aid elsewhere.
Generations of abandoned, lost, damaged Children have been made to Survive Our Social/Religious and Ethical/Moral dilemmas and disasters while We struggle over Our Issues and the Definitions of the When’s, Where’s, What’s, What Kind’s, How’s and Why’s of ’Conception’.
The Moment of Conception has become a moot point. Our Social Chaos, due to Our Individual and Collective selfish carelessness, thoughtlessness and Our lack of Self Control and Self and Other Respect are the Real Point. The Real Social/Religious and Ethical/Moral Black Hole.
Until America gets a grip on Her Social Sex Drive - gets It to connect with Her Social Conscience - Her Future Generations will continue to generate the Dangerous Devouring Children, ever wildly dancing to the seductive, erratically dissonant tune of that ’Moment of Conception’, while desperately trying to satiate a ravenous Hunger - fill an endless Void within Themselves They do not Recognize, Acknowledge or Comprehend.

Creating and Re-creating daily (for the most part): More Unprepared Young People giving Birth to - giving Moments of Conception to - Babies in Unprepared, Unwanted, Unloving, Unforgiving situations and environments all over Our Country, increased One-Parent Families (situations which tend to increase Personal and Social levels of Poverty and Hardship), foster homes, latch-key kids, Abandonment, Rejection, Abuse, Self-Doubt, Lack of Direction and Self Worth, Anger, Emotional Pain, Substance Abuse (Sex used as a substitute for substance abuse - a natural high), Violence, Fear, juvenile detention centers, prisons, Social and Cultural Dis-ease, Dis-order and Dis-illusionment...etc.
What Future are We Choosing to Give Birth to?
What Future Personal, National and Global Moments are We Choosing to Conceptualize?

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Emanuel Paparella2008-08-31 16:34:22
Re: Ensoulment at conception: another view

Originally Posted by Texas Roofer

My recall is the church teaching is life is sacred from conception, which implies ensoulment has occurred. I think this contradicts Thomas Aquinas.

In Donum Vitae (1987), there's a line that suggests that they don't mean to rule out the theory of Aquinas (that ensoulment occurs some time after fertilization is also taught in the Roman Catechism (around the time of the Council of Trent) -- I don't know if you want to mention that in your "history" or not, mapleoak). Aquinas didn't say life was not sacred before ensoulment took place. Note the bolded text:

(Donum Vitae 1987)
This Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] is aware of the current debates concerning the beginning of human life, concerning the individuality of the human being and concerning the identity of the human person. The Congregation recalls the teachings found in the Declaration on Procured Abortion: "From the time that the ovum is fertilized, a new life is begun which is neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. To this perpetual evidence...modern genetic science brings valuable confirmation. It has demonstrated that, from the first instant, the program is fixed as to what this living being will be: a man, this individual-man with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization is begun the adventure of a human life, and each of its great capacities requires time...to find its place and to be in a position to act."

Emanuel Paparella2008-08-31 16:37:07
(continued from above)(25) This teaching remains valid and is further confirmed, if confirmation were needed, by recent findings of human biological science which recognize that in the zygote resulting from fertilization the biological identity of a new human individual is already constituted.

Certainly no experimental datum can be in itself sufficient to bring us to the recognition of a spiritual soul; nevertheless, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo provide a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of this first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person? The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable. (26)

Thus the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.

Comment: it would appear that it all depends on whether or not one conceives of a human being as being both material and spirit (the soul) and whether one conceived of the intellectual life as inseparable from the spiritual life.

Leah Sellers2008-09-01 01:17:25
Emanuel, Honorable sir, Honorable Soul,

As a Woman I can tell you from the depths of my Being that Organic Conception begins as soon as the Fighter Sperm attaches himself to and fertilizes the Egg.
As a Living Being with a Soul who (when struggling with cervical and uteran cancer several years ago had what I believe to have been a 'near death experience' while undergoing respiratory diffculties in the recovery room after major surgery) is still not clear as to how much living Organic matter it takes to sustain a Soul entering this Realm. I only have a deep and residing Certainty within me that it does occur.
As a Woman, I can also tell you that giving birth to healthy, viable Nations is also vital for the sustainability of all Humankind. We must become Wiser, more Compassionate and Humane Caretakers. When We give Birth to a Child - We give Birth to a Nation. The Environments and Behaviors We Give to and Teach to Our Children are of Utmost Importance. They will Make or break Us.
If We say that the Life of a Child is sacred, then place that Child in World that does everything it can to destroy that which is sacred within that Child and that Child's Environment what hae We accomplished ? What have we saved ? What have We shown reverence toward, dear Sir ?

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 02:31:55
Point well taken. But perhaps what I was trying to express was not clear or incomplete. Actually I fully agree that life qua life is sacred, period, that the soul is what animates a body (as even the pagan Greeks understood, that we are not the lords of life, and it is greatly hypocritical to be pro life and then support capital punishment or be a war-monger at the same time. We have a presidential canditate from Arizona who expouses that kind of hypocritical position and calls himself a "pro-lifer." Am I wrong in perceiving that we agree in principle?

AP2008-09-01 02:44:02
Oh, f... the moment of conception and cheer the right to a dignified and loved life. That's why a dream to become a mom.

AP2008-09-01 02:44:33
I dream

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 05:48:25
Blake's "Infant Joy"

'I have no name;
I am but two days old.'
What shall I call thee?
'I happy am,
Joy is my name.'
Sweet joy befall thee!

Pretty joy!
Sweet joy, but two days old.
Sweet joy I call thee:
Thou dost smile,
I sing the while;
Sweet joy befall thee!
There is an illustration that accompanies this poem by the same Blake. On the basis of such an illustration some literary critics have concluded that "Infant Joy" evokes a child's innocence not merely at birth, but at conception itself. In the etching, the flower inside which the mother cradles her child is equated with the womb. It frames what he calls "the rapt moment of holy generation or conception." The angel figure in the scene signifies for him both the father's "life factor" and God's agent in a ceremony of "Annunciation" heralding the child's conception to the mother in a manner mirroring the announcement made to the Virgin Mary regarding Christ's birth in the Bible. This interpretation remains a touchstone for critics who read "Infant Joy" unambiguously. Unoubtedly, materialists and atheists find the interpretation absurd, and “a bit too much.”

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 14:53:31
The modern paradox of much mindless blind activism is a propensity toward a frantic praxis devoid of serious reflection assuming that what historically comes at the end is always a synthesis and therefore better than what preceded it. On the particular issue of life it assumes that living life is all that is needed without seriously pondering its origins and purpose.

AP2008-09-01 17:15:54
Right. I'm sure most women will tell you they don't have a clue about when the moment of conception was, and they don't even really care about that second. There was no announciation angel coming to them afterwards either. The real moment of joy is the moment of birth. We all know where the baby comes from, but more important than that is where does he go in the future!

AP2008-09-01 17:22:41
So I guess the problem was... they just didn't hear women before writing many silly things in the Bible, nor to how they feel or (in this case of conception moment) don't feel. lol If female sexuality would have been less of a tabu then, we would avoid many prejudices and the silliness of putting solely "divinity" where there is mere biology. Fascinating biology, but still biology with no tabu nor witchcraft.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 19:23:12
Point proven. Birds of a feather will usually flock together. However, as Chesterton points out (see today's excerpts by him), when the biological determinists, and the logical positivists, and the atheists, and the materialists come together to assert their cynical so called scientific propositions they lose sight of the poetry and the marvel and the mystery, and yes, the miracle that is the conception and birth of a baby. Pity!

AP2008-09-01 19:56:16
If you consider women in general birds of a feather, let it be so. This has nothing to do with atheists, materialists or positivists, just listen to women!

AP2008-09-01 20:01:21
No one loses sight of the poetry and marvel of life by recognizing a common truth: most women don't care and DON'T FEEL the exact "moment of conception", but they surely feel the one of birth and the kicks inside their wombs before that. Let's just not be mystical, alright?

AP2008-09-01 20:12:20
The "moments of conception" are not different, for the vast majority of women, from usual sex moments with their partner or from common orgasms. There's no red light blinking inside them (nor on their forehead) saying "you just got pregnant and that's divine - now you must be exemplar, almost a saint". Pregnancy is much inside one's head, many women get physically pregnant but never pregnant inside their heads - which, we don't need to say it, harms of course the baby. Because of these and some more reasons, any woman who thinks slightly by her own head and knows her body well will tell you that it's preferable to legalize and accept abortion once and for all, and that's no stage drama. Alright?

AP2008-09-01 20:25:29
Those "mystery and miracle" lines applied to the moment of conception (which normally has nothing different from lots of other moments for most women), along with accusations of selfishness and materialism are marvellous, in our patriarchal societies, to make women who made their choices and aborted (actually quite many) feel... more guilty. Which, I don't know, but putting myself in their position must be the last thing they need in their lives. If you don't believe me, then when the Pope becomes a woman, She will tell you.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 23:27:05
An initial response to those misguided comments comes from another poem by William Blake which takes the side, not of feminists, not of "pro-choicers," so called, nor or pro-lifers but of the baby and his/her snuffed choices. It bears some reflection in the context of the widespread violation in our Western world of the sanctitiy of life, all of life from womb to tomb; independent of ideological axes to grind against the Pope and religion in general. It is indeed worth pondering that the enormous disespect for life begins in the 20th century with the installment of atheistic States contemptuous of religion and driven by political ideologies.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-01 23:28:42
And here is the above mentioned poem by Blake. No doubt the cultural philisitine will consign it to the bonfire, but it is worth our pondering:

Infant Sorrow
by William Blake

My mother groaned, my father wept,

Into the dangerous world I leapt;

Helpless, naked, piping loud,

Like a fiend hid in a cloud.

Struggling in my father's hands,

Striving against my swaddling bands,

Bound and weary, I thought best

To sulk upon my mother's breast.

AP2008-09-02 01:53:33
"the enormous disrespect for life begins in the 20th century with the installment of atheistic States contemptuous of religion and driven by political ideologies"
Oh, really? How were children - those out of the womb I mean (and only out of it they are called like that, I think) - treated in the Middle Ages, Mr. Paparella? And was, for example, slavery throughout the centuries a sign of respect for life?
If you want to respect life, start by respecting the life of grown up women and independently living children (those thousands killed, raped, turned into killer soldiers every day). An embryo doesn't choose anything, the owner of the body inside which it is developing has the right to choose, even if that's a late or not ideal choice. Fullstop.
ps - and do you by chance think that women haven't, throughout the centuries, done abortions and found their own way of doing them and defended their right to choose anyway? It's better if they are safe when doing them.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 03:52:20
In case you have not heard, Ms. Pereira, the atheistic States set up during the 20th century are Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Between the two of them they snuffed the life of some 30 million innocent people. The experiment of an atheist State was never implemented before. The is one still ongoing named the People's Republic of China which gives women little choice on how many children they wish to procreate. Compared to that monstruosity the abuses of the Middle Ages you mention (the standard fare of those out to slander the Catholic Church)begin to look like a picknick.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 03:53:25
Next semester I’ll be teaching a class on biomedical ethics. I may utilize this dialogue, given that it is a public one. If I understand your argument, Ms. Pereira, I have a right as a man to choose whether or not to shave my beard since it is part of my body. You have a right to choose whether or not to cut your nails or your hair since those too are part of your body. We have a right to do what we wish with any part of our body, or for that matter with our whole body. We therefore have a right to choose suicide; it is part of our ultimate freedom. It’s an alluring argument but not very coherent, I am afraid. What begins to grow from the first moment of conception is not an extension of one’s body but an organism which has half of its genes from the father and half from the mother, suggesting that this is not exactly an extension of the mother’s body but is, potentially at least, a separate human being which does not reach full maturity at birth but years later. Even a born baby is not complete but a potential human being and people go to jail for murdering a one day hold potential human being. The question remains: who protects the most vulnerable members of our society. Is there a more vulnerable human being than one just born or, for that matter, one in the womb just one day from being born? What makes a fetus one day away from being born different from a one day old baby? They are both vulnerable and potential human beings.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 03:54:29
And here is an interesting and true anecdote to ponder. The mother of a family of 14 is pregnant again. Her husband — the father of all 14 of these children — has a history of alcohol abuse and mental disorders which frequently causes him to abuse his other children. The mother herself is already worn out from trying to care single-handedly for her large family and doesn't feel she can care for another child at this point. On top of all this, two sons in the family also have a history of alcohol abuse, one of the children is in a mental institution, and none of the other children have steady, dependable jobs with which to support mom and dad. Abortion or Not? If the mother had chosen to abort her 13th child (which she actually did not) she would have aborted Bethooven. If our mother had decided to abort me and you; we wouldn’t be around, which I suppose is perfectly ok with those who don’t like us but not with the Author of life. In case you are wondering, we are not the author of life. We are creatures.

AP2008-09-02 16:12:15
1. Firstly, don't wait until the Pope becomes a woman, wait until You become a woman to judge people, which is always something very ugly and not very smart or constructive, either if it is a woman who aborted or a person who commited suicide.

2. Secondly, you have to question your religion sometimes. If your religion says that a certain wall is blue and almost everybody else sees that it is white, who will you believe in? What if you can't see?

3. Third, besides making it sound like it is a very easy and light choice for most women (which it is not! - and remember that for every woman who aborts there was also, first, a man not using contaceptives), you're forgetting a very important point that the anti-abortion positions almost always miss or tend to "forget": pregnancy ALWAYS carries with it a condition of risk for the health of the mother, and I mean death risk (for as beautiful as a pregnant lady is, you must recognize that such risk is, in fact, involved)! You simply CANNOT FORCE a HUMAN BEING with constitutional rights too (the mother) to go through such high health risks, UNLESS she willingly and lovingly WANTS TO, for the baby or the father or both or herself. I'm sorry to say, but to force her to run such risks is like... social rape, nothing more nor less. Running the risk of serious health complications and even the risk of death (which all pregnancies carry, in higher or lower level - and this must be said clearly, without hypocrisies), do you still think she doesn't own her body?! How about HER LIFE?! Oh boy, how "easy" and convenient it is to forget this simple still DECISIVE fact!

AP2008-09-02 16:22:48
Your anecdote makes no sense, either aborting or giving birth you can get a psychopath or a genious, so that's no argument.
It's not just a matter of women owning their bodies, they actually own their LIVES (I mean physical lives, earthly existences), and have the right to choose about the health risks they take!
About our mothers having aborted or not, do you want to be in charge of your mother's decisions now? I don't have such pretentions. Why don't you just face her decision has "will of the Creator" too, don't tell me that God can't manifest his wish through the will of a woman?! And have you talked with Him, did he tell you he was anti-abortion?

AP2008-09-02 16:25:03
I mean, if all beings are born equal, you're as credible to represent "the Lord" as a woman who aborts.

AP2008-09-02 16:31:35
So a woman aborting an embryo is homicide, but anti-abortion fundamentalists forcing an adult woman to run serious health and life risks is okay? LOL Let me laugh!

AP2008-09-02 16:55:43
What if one of your daughters would come and tell you she just had an abortion, Mr. Paparella? Would you judge her so easily too?

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 17:06:59
You may laugh at your heart's content but unfortunately, while defending the mother's rights and prerogatives on her body and life, you have conveniently side-stepped the issue of the rights and prerogatives to life of the unborn continuing to deceive yourself that it is a mere appendage of the mother's body. It is not and it has her/his own inalienable rights. It certainly it a thorny ethical issue, most ethical issues are not the easy choice of good vs. evil but the more difficult choice of the least of the two evils, but I am afraid that to reduce it to a diatribe complete with vituparations against those unfeeling chauvinistic men, that is to say, to reduce it to a gender war, is to make sure that the issue is never responsibly debated and solved, never mind a genuine and respectful dialogue.

AP2008-09-02 17:27:58
But abortion prohibition IS a weapon still used in the gender war, Sir! That's why we're trying to abolish it, because it is not human.

In the vast majority of cases, more than anyone, a mother knows the responsibilities involved in raising a child, and also all the transformations she will have to cope with, all the health risks, including self-esteem issues which can mark her for the rest of her life, and more than anyone she wants the best for a child if she is to have it. Thank "God", a woman can decide if she's ready or not to have a baby, without being subjected to medieval laws. And I got news for you: many men defend such rights!
You are the one who didn't answer my fundamental questions yet.

Besides all the women who die every year due to illegal abortions (and no one assumes responsibility for those losses!), if a woman lives in a State where she is forced to give birth against her will and she dies during labor or due to pregnancy complications, who is going to assume the responsibility for that? Let me guess: no one again!

AP2008-09-02 17:47:11
My heart's content is beautiful - or do you consider it as dark or evil just because I defend the right to abort? I told you, I don't have the pretention of being in charge of my mother's, wife or daughter decisions. She must know what she can cope with at a given moment in her life (and for the rest of her life), both physically and emotionally. She is adult, therefore I have to trust that she knows. I'm not the one getting the physical symptoms nor scars, the health problems or risks, the self-esteem consequences or even the life threat, I'm not the one breastfeeding the baby or losing my job because I got pregnant and didn't actually even want to, or not with the right guy, etc. I'm not the one whose blood pressure raises, whose kidneys can work poorly, who can get eclampsia among many other life consequences. So who am I to tell her what to do? And who is God to tell such woman what to do, anyway?

I don't know, sometimes I sense in anti-abortion arguments this primitive and senseless fear: if we don't force women to have babies, they will stop having them! Which would be quite ridiculous and rudimentary, if true.

AP2008-09-02 18:10:32
Now let me tell you, Sir, that I never had an abortion nor do I know what it feels like (and I would have no problem whatsoever in saying I would have if it would be true and it could open your eyes a bit), but at least I can... imagine how it must feel! Now You imagine how most of the women who really had abortions feel about your opinions. I also wonder: would or have you ever tried to impose those opinions to your wife, for example? How is it in practical terms, to be an anti-abortion person?

I just can imagine that most of the women who have done abortions need... a relief to their guilt, not a condemnation. That's being human, see?

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 18:11:02
The issue continues to be side-stepped. Do the unborn and the defenseless and the vulnerable have any rights to their life, from the first moment of conception till their last breath or is that right contingent on the rights or the convenience of others, be it the mother or any other persons? Indeed, if there is no natural law and there is no God which put it in place, the answer invariably will necessarily be a utilitarian one: whatever is convenient to the stronger. People who place their trust in a strong state to protect their inalienable rights will invariably be disappointed. The state may decide that one's rights are alos expendable. At the very least we ought to acknowledge that much so that we don't deceive ourselves with games of victimhood.

AP2008-09-02 18:59:47
This is not a matter of being weak nor strong. Nor are there games of victimhood, but victims that you can see with your own eyes - and I mean future or recent mothers plus women who aborted illegally.

Yes, the rights of a living human being prevail over the rights of a potential one. And it wasn't necessary for science to confirm us that embryos need the woman to live for women to start doing abortions! They did long before that. Why? Because they have free will. Am I wrong or is this again a matter of weak and strong in the sense that someone tries to impose a certain decision on someone else?

ps - You didn't answer my questions yet.

AP2008-09-02 19:18:55
"Do the unborn and the defenseless and the vulnerable have any rights to their life"

I don't know about you, but my life only truly started the moment I was born. That's why they say I'm 27, not 28 yet.

"convenience of others, be it the mother or any other persons"

First news for you: a mentally health mother NEVER aborts merely because "it is convenient" for her. Abortion is a traumatic experience, and as you can imagine it is never "convenient" for one to bleed from his/her sexual organs and/or feel pain, etc. So your argument is dismantled from the start, by a series of erronious beliefs and senseless assumptions.
Second news: the so-called "maternity instinct" IS NOT innate.

"if there is no natural law and there is no God which put it in place"

The natural law and God have made it straight and simple: the mother has the right to choose. God even gave us natural herbs and teas to help women who want to abort and are subjected to idiotic laws, since the beginning of times!

AP2008-09-02 19:28:14
You know what? The daughters (and sometimes the wives and mothers) of anti-abortion people also abort, the difference is just: most of the times they won't tell you, because the experience is hard enough, so the last thing they want/need is to be condemned by someone else after going through that. And you lose an excellent opportunity to show them that you care and to be there for them when they specially need.

You know what? I even know cases of anti-abortion people who have aborted themselves... it's just that they've done it in a foreign country while on a "vacation weekend" and then they come back to pretend they are the impolute guardians of morality and good customs.

Above all, I find it very ugly to judge someone by something like that.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 19:55:05
The issue that you have so far failed to come to grips with is simple Ms. Pereira; it is the starting point of any course on ethics and it is this: is ethical behavior, even idependent from belief in a Creator, universally applicable (as a Kant surely asserts in his philosophy of ethics) or is there a morality for adults and one for children, one for males and one for females, one for whites and one for blacks, one for rich and one for poor, one for the weak and one for ths strong, one for today and one for tomorrow? For if ethics is not universal, then this whole long-winded emotional diatribe you have carried on rather short on reason, which attempts to reduce the whole issue of ethics to the merely personal and emotional or to a gender war, is quite moot and meaningless.

When you have a chance, observe this existential phenomenon: how an expectant mother will characterize the life growing inside her womb, and how the one contemplating abortion will characterizes it. The former, more often than not, will refer to it as "the baby," the latter as "the fetus." Semantics? Perhaps, but quite revealing.

What indeed is the difference between a baby one day short of birth and one just born? They are exactly the same, both potential human beings in the sense that a mature complete human being is relatively autonomous and self-sufficient.

AP2008-09-02 20:00:45
YOU side-stepped the issue by referring yourself to atheistic States of the 20th century (actually personality cult States), when in fact a State that legalizes abortion shows to be LAIC, fullstop. And I see nothing wrong about that.
Plus, just as I don't defend anti-abortion, I don't defend anti-reproduction, but in part because of both of those family planning has proven to be useful.

One last advice: talk to your wife, daughters and maybe granddaughters and other women and female students, then form your opinion, as many of your arguments and assumptions on this subject seem to rely on mere ignorance of real feelings and real facts.

AP2008-09-02 20:23:50
"The former, more often than not, will refer to it as "the baby," the latter as "the fetus." Semantics? Perhaps, but quite revealing."
Yes, quite revealing of the fact that DESIRING the baby or not affects the woman's semantics (so what? is that a big deal or even a great discovery?), and of the fact that women who abort feel guilty and try to defend themselves emotionally by using a more technical term (is that anything new or something we didn't know before?). Or simply revealing of the fact that a small percentage of those women actually, as I mentioned before, don't feel or don't have maternity instinct, so they shouldn't be forced to have a child - for everybody's sake.

"What indeed is the difference between a baby one day short of birth and one just born?"
The difference is not great and any doctor or woman who aborts will tell you that she won't do so the day before she is supposed to give birth!
So if you want ethic limits here they come (and you will see that nature has set them to some extent): abortion is usually performed until the moment when it doesn't imply a higher risk for the woman's life than actually having the child (because in very advanced stages of pregnancy it implies a very high risk... and women who got to very advanced stages of pregnancy and still think about abortion did not made up their minds, obviously), but even then the woman (if she finds a doctor who agrees with her) is the one deciding to still risk her life (normally other alternatives tend to be presented) or to have the child instead.

I'm no one to judge, not even either of these above mentioned options. Because you see, on the contrary of what you seem to believe, it is all pretty much about emotions yes (being a mother), not about theoretical discussions void of connections to the reality or merely rational and moral discussions.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-02 21:32:16
Indeed theory based on mere logic is sterile at best, on the other hand, practice based on mere emotions which sidesteps theory is blind and leads to relativism and the ignoring of the universality of valid moral principles. When Kant formulated the moral imperative "always treat another person as an end in itself and not as a means to an end" that imperative is and remains universal and the fact that Kant was a man has no relevancy on its objectivity and reasonableness. I submit to you once again that both the unborn or the potential human being and the one day old, also a potential and incomplete human beings, are persons and that Kant's imperative applies to both. I repeat: if ethical principles even under the light of mere reason, are not universal, diatribes for or against abortion are moot and meaningless.

AP2008-09-03 00:49:10
"practice based on mere emotions which sidesteps theory"
At least the theories that INTEREST YOU. Because if we consider psychological theories, for example, most of them see NO BENEFIT whatsoever in prohibiting abortion, on the contrary.
Accepting abortion doesn't mean that ethical principles are not universal, it means that they are! And no, a baby 2 days old is not the same biologically as a 3-month old fetus or an embryo. Nor is it the same in the heart of his mom, indenpendently of the fact that she wants the baby or not.

You still didn't answer what would you tell your daughter if she would communicate that she just had an abortion.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-03 16:32:21
The answer to that personal question can be found in the comments under Thanos Kalamidas piece on Sarah Palin of today and in John 8: 1-11 in a book called the Bible which happens to be the most widely read book in the world, for some strange reason perhaps beyond your comprehension.

AP2008-09-04 01:47:08
So the answer to what would you tell your daughter is in the Bible? Goodness, they were way ahead their time!

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-04 06:32:15
As I suspected, it seems to be beyond your comprehension. The reason why the Bible is still being read thousands of years later is that it is a paradigm of the human condition and the human predicament and will continue to be so thousands of years hence; something to which those with ideological bias are blind to.

AP2008-09-04 18:43:12
Yes, but it is not a guide to deal with your child!

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-04 20:23:20
And of course, what can be easily and gratuitously asserted can easily be disproved and safely ignored. Philosophy and reason do not have gender or race or class. Either an argument is universally reasonable or it is nonsense. I have just sent an article to Ovi on the nexus between reason and life. Stay tuned. Perhaps we can still change this diatribe to a dialogue, albeit I am not too sanguine about it.

Emanuel Paparella2008-09-04 20:31:28
As far as the more personal insinutations that you have brought forth, when you say "deal with your child" you must be talking about my grandchild, given that all my daughters are adults and make their own decisions. I simply hope I have given them a good example on how to live what the Greeks called "the good life." In any case, I will surely encourage my grandchild to explore for herself and judge for herself why the Bible continues to be the most widely read in the world, and not be so misguided as to dismiss it a priori. Her name, by the way, is Sophia. Appropriate name. There is even a novel out called Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. I higly recommend it.

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